I use Wyeast Nutrient. I don't know what's in it, but my fermentations have been vigorous. I tried using out of date dry yeast in the boil, but saw no measurable/noticeable difference.
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I had a run of astringent beers I traced back to a couple things. When crushing my malt, I was getting a lot of shredded husk bits, then when lautering I was getting a lot of those husk in the boil. A longer vorlauf and more careful malt conditioning took care of it.
I use lactic acid to lower the pH when I'm doing very light beers. I assume you weren't talking about increasing acidity at this point.
i guess my question also is that the beer actually dry? final gravity?